Beauty, Fashion, Women

… if the shoe fits

As some of you may know, and some of you may not, yours truly has returned to my old stomping grounds. Years ago, I managed the Ladies section of a shoe store. It’s not your run of the mill shoe store – a slow day is 250 pairs. This past July, the manager and owner and I sat down and I was asked to come back, and on my terms. Four shifts a week, only one late night and no management responsibilities. Just selling. Go in, do my job, go home. I explained my long term goals for my blog, my writing, my consulting and my life. I came to realize a while ago, do what you gotta do until you can do what you want to do. Plain and simple.

I have been back in the Ladies section for 6 months now, and although it was over 8 years ago when I ran the section, one thing has not changed. Women are insecure about their feet, their shoe size, what they look like and what people think. Too many women are forcing their foot into a shoe that is too small, or refusing to try on a pump because they are “too old for those now”, or, the saddest of all, buying a shoe they do not like because their partner says they like it. I may not be able to help you out of a bad marriage, or help you get your boss off your back, or get your kids to behave. What I can do is give you the “what’s what” about shoes and footwear. Here we go;

  • the average size of shoe sold in the Ladies section in 2018 was a Ladies size 9 – 10. Yes. You read that correctly. 6 – 7 is no longer the average size. There is no longer any need to be embarrassed about your size 10’s ladies.

 

  • Many companies offer an array of sizing, from size 4 to size 13. …and yes, the size 13’s are just as cute as the size 4’s.

 

  • European Sizing – this always throws ladies for a loop.  Here’s your go to chart;

                                                                         35 = size 4 – 4.5

                                                                         36 = size 5 – 5.5

                                                                         37 = size 6 – 6.5

                                                                         38 = size 7 – 7.5

                                                                         39 = size 8 – 8.5

                                                                         40 = size 9 – 9.5 

                                                                         41 = size 10 – 10.5

                                                                         42 = size 11 – 11.5

                                                                         43 = size 12 – 12.5

                                                                         44 = size 13 – 13.5 

  • Here’s a little helpful sizing tidbit – * many children’s shoes and men’s shoes are the exact same style as Ladies shoes.

A child’s size 4 is a Ladies 6

A child’s size 5 is a Ladies 7

A child’s size 6 is a Ladies 8

A men’s size 8 is a Ladies 10

A men’s size 9 is a Ladies 11

A men’s size 10 is a Ladies 12

 

  • Unless you have always dreamed of having bunions and hammer toes, or both…NEVER purchase shoes that are too small, EVER. Think about it. If the shoe is too small, with every step you take, the joints of your toes have no where to go but up (hammer toe) and out (bunion). Unfortunately, for some of us, bunions and hammer toes may run in the family – try not to give them any more help.

 

  • Unless you are on the beach, going barefoot is a no no. The older we get, the more support our tootsies need. The tendons supporting your arch run from the base of your big toe to your heel, and then up to your knee and they need your support. If you have ever had heel pain, or gotten out of bed and felt like you stepped on broken glass – that’s your arch begging for support. I have suffered from the evil Plantar Fasciitis and quickly learned that walking barefoot around the house was no longer an option. So I wear my Birks (Birkenstock) instead of slippers.  For those of you who just can’t imagine wearing these, give this brand a go – Vionic – created by Podiatrist’s. Their selection of sandals are cute and colorful.  I have to admit…every once and a while I wear my fuzzy slippers – I’m Canadian and our winters tend to be chilly.

  • When it comes to winter boots – water proof means water proof. The boot has a water proof membrane between the soles of the boot. I want you to imagine an Oreo cookie. The cookie parts are the soles of the boots, the cream center is the water proof membrane. *** Temperature grading on a winter boot means that your foot will stay cozy and warm if you are moving or not.

 

  • We all can walk in heels. We can. You have to walk like the models on the runway. Plain and Simple. Put one foot in front of the other and sway your hips and VOILA! You are walking in heels. * Walking with your feet side to side like you do in sneakers is the reason why you waver and look like a baby deer learning to walk or feel unstable. Imagine you are on the runway in Milan and strut your stuff sister!

 

  • For those who wear Orthotics, do not fret. You are not doomed to wear “old people shoes” for the rest of your life. Many companies offer and array of Orthotic friendly foot wear, from sandals to heels, knee high boots to slippers. …and they are cute too. Clarks, Aravon, Biotime, Romika, Ugg…just to name a few.

Something I want you to remember Ladies. If you like the shoe, buy it. Stop worrying about what others will say or think. Stop worrying you are too old to wear certain shoes. If you like sparkles on your shoes, BLING! away. If you like the way you look in stiletto’s, wear them like you’re on your way to your personal Vogue shoot. It’s like I tell my Ladies that shop in my section, if people are looking at your shoes instead of you, you need to tell them to get a new hobby.

Be your own beautiful. …and if the shoe fits, wear it.

 

Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness

Monday Motivator

It’s the first Monday of 2019. The holidays are officially over. The kids are back in school. For those of us in retail, holiday hours have come to and end. Our schedules are no longer filled with office Christmas parties and Holiday open houses. Life, for the most part, is getting back to normal, back to the daily grind.

All our Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram feeds are filled with “New Year! New Me!” quotes and memes. Many a fine lady and gentleman are seeking something new, be it a diet plan, a fitness regime, and as always, a new hair style. I began this blog, 6 years ago, to educate the masses about their hair. Which products to use, which products were for specific hair types and most importantly, how to use them. From pomades to flat irons, I tried to cover all the bases and answer any and all questions. As I sat down with my trusty laptop with my coffee in hand, I decided today would be a great day to go through my archives and share my what’s what of hair products, styling tools, etc. . Knowledge is power my friends, and with the proper tools and know how, the one thing you will be sure of is your hair. With all the happenings in the world today, it may seem silly and trivial to be worried about your hair. The way I see it, if you feel good about yourself, when you like your reflection and feel confident in yourself, you tend not to worry about the little things like split ends and are more aware of what is going on around you… it gets you out of your own way. So without further adieu here are a few articles to help you have a better understanding of your hair, your hair products and maybe, just maybe, a better understanding of yourself.

 

Thinking of an at home color experience?

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/17/proceed-with-caution/

 

All flat irons are not meant for all hair types…

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/07/11/would-a-flat-iron-by-any-other-name-still-be-as-good/

 

Before you pick up your favorite shampoo at the discount store…

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/01/15/divert-your-attention/

 

A what’s what of hair products 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/10/27/what-does-this-do/

 

AC/DC isn’t just a band…not all blow dryers are created equal 

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/03/18/blow-out/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

New Intentions

… a little New Years tale.

 

Intention(noun) a determination to act in a certain way  – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

Here we are. January 2, 2019. Our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with everyone’s New Year resolution of “New year! New me!”, usually accompanied with a meme. Many have asked me what my New Year’s resolutions were for 2019. My answer was always the same. I do not have any. In the past, whenever I uttered a resolution, made my list of New Year’s to do, I always fell short and ended up feeling like a fool or worse, a failure. So, I no longer make resolutions, I create intentions. My New Year’s Intentions… it just feels better, sounds better to have intentions. The word itself, for me at least, has a positive power to it. It comes from a place of gratitude and grace. It brings with it a sense of hope. Something I have for myself, my friends and love ones.

This year, and all the years to come, my wish for you is intention. To find what it is that brings a smile to your face, a warmth to your soul. To find what it is that makes you want to see your own reflection. Once we set an intention, and truly believe it, the world, the universe, God, the smurfs – take your pick, will be drawn to it. It may not happen overnight or even in 6 months, but know this. It will happen. It ain’t gonna be pretty, there will be many days of doubt, ugly face cries, stomps and tantrums that would put a toddler to shame. There will also be moments of pure peace, of joy, of laughter. You will feel that same pride that you felt when you mastered your bicycle without training wheels, or the first time you hit a home run. You will begin to remember who you really are, and once you remember that, the world is your oyster darling.

Create the world you want to see – That Girl in the Red Coat

 

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Sunday Confessions

Sunday Confessions

 

As of late everyone seems to be saying the same thing. Everyone wonders what is happening in the world. Between what is happening in the U.S.A., Brexit, the debate of the existence of Climate Change (which is a real thing), we all seem to be lost, wondering which road to take, which side to stand on and wishing for a simpler time.

A few weeks ago, while my beloved and I were discussing such topics, he said “Remember Little House on the Prairie? It was a great show. That is what family and community should be about.”. That’s when a thought transpired in my mind. I looked at him and said “If that’s the world you want, you can have it”. He looked at me like I had three heads and was speaking in Mandarin. I clarified my thought for him, just as I am going to do for you. When our actions are based in kindness, kindness will spread. When we speak with truth, truth will spread. When are intentions come from a place of light and love, light and love will spread. It’s inevitable. When we face our fear, be it of saying the wrong thing or trying something out of our comfort zone, the fear slowly disappears. We lead by example, to our children, to our family, to our coworker, even to strangers we pass on the street. Speaking your truth not only sets you free, it can unlock the shackles of others.

We have no control of the world entire, nor do we have any control over the actions and words of others. What we do have control over is our own words and actions. The simplest of actions can make the biggest impact.

  • Hold the door open for a stranger.
  • Help an elderly person get their groceries in their car.
  • Offer your child a ride to school or work.
  • Leave a love note in your spouse’s lunch.
  • Call a friend just to say hello.
  • Send flowers, to anyone, just because.
  • When someone is speaking to you, look them in the eye and be present. When you are overwhelmed and someone needs your attention, kindly say “I want to be here for  you, I need a minute.”.
  • When you are feeling unheard, do not get angry. Tell the person you are speaking to “I need your attention. This is important to me”.
  • Support others achievements, never dismiss them. Someone tells you they have decided to be clown, celebrate it. …I however will be in the back of the room for I hate clowns, but I will still be there, cheering them on…from afar.
  • Listen and respect the opinions of others, for you want others to listen and respect yours. You do not have to agree with them. …more often than not, if you take the time to listen, you will find the root of their opinion and maybe, just maybe, you can help shed some light on their lack of information and leave them with something to ponder. …or they may do the same for you.
  • Be grateful, even if your day feels like a shit show. Be grateful. If you can walk, talk and wipe your own ass…that’s a pretty good day.

Create the world you want to see. Plain and simple.

communication, lifestyle, parenting, Sunday Confessions, Women

Sunday Confessions

 

Over the past weeks something has been occurring that has left me, well, a little perplexed. As you know, I have returned to the shoe store 4 days a week. I have been assigned to my old stomping grounds, the Ladies section. I found myself checking the calendar last week to assure myself that it was 2018. I felt like I had gone back in time. Why you ask? Well, it seems that the 1950’s mentality that the man has final say in how the money is spent and he decides what shoe or boot you should be wearing still exists. I shit you not. I have witnessed women telling me they loved the fit of the shoe, that it didn’t hurt their bunion and it was exactly what they were looking for only to have their significant other say “You chose that? Seriously?”. I have also been witness to a man telling his wife she was kidding herself to think the boot she was trying on looked good. I have lost count of the moments I watched the light fade from a woman’s eyes, her head bow down and heard her say “you’re right.”. Women that I know make their own money, women that are lawyers and doctors telling me that they have to get the “OK from the boss” before purchasing their shoes. Pardon my french, this is bullshit and it needs to stop.

What I am about to say may ruffle some feathers, of this I am sure. As women, we teach people how to treat us. Sure, it is a jerk move to belittle your wife. On the flip side Ladies, you let it happen. You have a voice. You have an opinion. You know what you like and don’t like. You know how to treat people and how you want to be treated. You know what is kind and what is not. It really is this simple. Both men and women need to call each other out on inappropriate behavior and comments. Trust me, I have seen women belittle their husband’s footwear choices as well…which is ridiculous if you stop and think about it. Unless you are a part of the psychic network, there is no way to know how a shoe feels and fits on someone else’s foot. I don’t care if it’s a loafer that has bunnies all over it, if the person likes it, it feels good on their foot and it brings a smile to their face, simply smile and let them buy the god damn shoe. Here’s a little go to list for you;

  • Do not tell anyone how the shoe on their foot feels. It makes no sense, you cannot possibly feel what it feels like on their foot and you sound like a fool.
  • Do not tell a women her ankles still look fat when she is trying on high heels
  • Do not tell your 40 year old wife her shoe choice reminds you of your Mother
  • Do not tell your husband he needs “old man shoes” to match his “old man hairline” …yes, I am sad to say I have heard this on more than one occasion
  • When your 10 year old daughter has large feet and needs a ladies size 11, do not say “if this keeps going she’ll be wearing ugly clodhoppers for life” – first of all, that’s mean and ugly. Secondly, most shoe companies make cute shoes and boots up to a Ladies size 13.
  • If you have a job and make your own money, you should not need your spouses approval to buy yourself shoes, man or woman.
  • Never make fun of someones choices. Trust me, I think there are a lot of ugly shoes out there. Key words are “I think”. Just because I don’t like them does not mean someone else will adore them.

If you find yourself saying something to your spouse that if anyone else said to them, they would end up with a fat lip…you probably shouldn’t be saying it either. This applies to everything, not just foot apparel. Be kind. Plain and simple.

 

 

health and wellness, Sunday Confessions, That girl in the red coat, Women

Sunday Confessions

Truth – (noun) the quality or state of being true

 

I have a truth to share. I talk a big game about being true to yourself, believing in yourself and setting your sight on what you want and going for it. Most days, I hit a home run in that department. Some days, I am not capable of getting up to bat. Over the past weeks I have been in search of divine intervention, answers to questions I can’t seem to even articulate, yet I know they are there. I have been taking on the responsibility of other people’s problems, thinking that I could change things for them … like I really have that kind of power. I have found myself comparing myself to others, their achievements and what not. …I know, I know. Not even a month ago I blogged how comparison is the thief of joy. I’m just a woman trying to speak her truth and own it.

I read a quote years ago along the lines of “when you are feeling depressed, first check that you are not surrounded by assholes”. I have come to realize that I have been allowing the negativity of others and their snide, passive aggressive “compliments” to seep into my daily thoughts. I cannot stop what people say, I can stop what I let it do to me. I also had to remind myself that I can offer advice or my opinion, I cannot control what the other person will do with it, if they will heed my advice and help themselves, or just dismiss it all together and , in the end, it’s completely on me if I let myself hold onto the hurt of feeling dismissed. Trust me, as I sit here and write this I am wishing I could lay blame on others, the easier route in the short term, harder for the long term.

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Beginning at 11:00 a.m. I sat and watch the coverage of the ceremony. As I was watching the elderly veterans, I found myself wanting to kick my own ass. Here I am, a woman, living in a free country, allowed to vote, to walk down the street, earn a living, own a home, have an education. All because over the past 100 years, people I would never know or meet, gave up their lives for my freedoms. When I stopped and thought for a moment, really let it sink in, I realized that I should be grateful that I can have my moments of missing the mark, of wondering what if, of feeling like I am a failure. Why should I be grateful? I have the time to have these thoughts, to process them, to get them out of my system and keep on keepin’ on. Seriously. My biggest problem today is how I feel about myself or how I let someone make me feel. For the last 100 years men and women died for freedoms they never got to relish. Today, all over the world, children are being forced into war, families are being ripped apart at the border because they are fleeing such countries. Women are walking 2 -10 miles a day in hopes of getting clean water. Families in first world countries are one paycheck away from losing their homes. Hell, I am a woman who is able to speak her mind and has the freedom of speech, something I shall never take for granted, for there are women around the globe risking their lives just to be able to get groceries by themselves. Needless to say, I have gained some perspective.

We all have bad days. We all feel inadequate at some point. We all feel dismissed or ignored. We all fall victim to comparisons. In the end, it’s up to us to gain some perspective, take a hard look at ourselves and who we surround ourselves with, and most of all, to be grateful, for the up’s, the down’s and the all around’s.

 

lifestyle, parenting, Sunday Confessions, That girl in the red coat, Women

Sunday Confessions

Unless you have been living under a rock, in a coma or seeking seclusion in a Tibetan monastery, you are well aware of the political and cultural climate for women. It is 2018 and although we have made monumental strides towards equality, I am afraid, as of late, we have hit a plateau and in some arenas, we are facing stepping backwards. I listen to my daughter, who at 21 years of age is well in the middle of this mix. I hear her concerns, her fears, her hopes, her dreams. I raised her to be fair, to be kind, to stand up for what is right and to stand up for herself. I wanted to raise her the way I was raised. You see, I was fortunate to be raised by a loving and supportive mother and father. I was especially fortunate to be raised by a father who treated me as his child, not his daughter. It wasn’t until I went to school that I realized the differences between girls and boys. …don’t get me wrong, I knew about our biological differences, that only girls could get pregnant and carry a baby and that boys could pee standing up. Other than that, I thought we were the same, equal. I could double dutch like the best of them and could throw a perfect spiral. I could pretend I was a princess while wearing a pretty dress and imagine I was Babe Ruth whenever I was up to bat.

…before anyone gets on the soap box, I know all too well that girls and women are not the only people dealing with discrimination and adversity. Today’s tale is a focus on women and girls. I promise you, others will get their turn.

It wasn’t until I was 10 years old that I realized I would have to fight to prove I was just as good as a boy. We moved to Winnipeg, I was in grade 5 and my first day at the new school we had gym class. The teacher, a man, told the class it was calisthenics day and to start with push ups. So, I got down, assumed the position and began. The teacher came up to me, said “Oh no, you have to do your push ups like a girl.”. I had no idea what he was talking about. “Like a girl?” I asked. He said “Yes. Like a girl. Bend your knees, like the other girls.”. I looked around and they all bent their knees instead of being in a plank position. I looked at him and said “I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know how to do that. I’m doing it my way.”. To which he responded “Like a boy? Hmmm.”. When spring rolled around, it was time for baseball, my favorite sport at the time. I got up to plate and he placed a t-ball stand in front of me. I asked “What’s that for?”. He told me “Girls are afraid of the ball and can’t hit a pitch.”. I kicked the stand over, looked the him in the eye, and told the pitcher “Pitch it!”. …this is how I know there is a god, I hit that ball out of the park on my first swing. I thanked Jesus all the way around the bases.

Fast forward to high school. In Winnipeg, I was in french immersion for 3 years, so when we moved back to Ontario, I was a little lost in science. I had learned the basics in french. I asked my science teacher, another man, to clarify if I had the theory correct. As I was trying to explain I had learned it in french and wanted to make sure I had it right, I was told “Don’t worry so much. You only need one science credit. Pretty girls don’t need science.”. I was also told by a male teacher in grade 11 that “most girls get bored with computers” when I was getting lost in computer programming, a course I chose as an elective because I thought it was cool when my dad and I programmed our commodore vic 20 when I was 11.

In my sales career, spanning 25 years, men have told me;

  • I ask too many questions and if I can’t answer a customer’s question, just get one of the guys. – while selling cars
  • I should smile more
  • I get too emotional – when a fellow sales person scooped my deal and my commissions and I dared to stand up for myself. I had an appointment booked and the customer was under my name in the system, until the rat changed it.
  • “Wow! You have brains with your beauty”.
  • “Better ask your husband if it’s okay that you have to work late”
  • I wear too much makeup
  • I need to wear more makeup
  • I wear too much jewelry
  • I need to wear more jewelry
  • I am better being the face of the business, not to worry so much about what goes on behind the scenes.

Thanks to my stubborn nature, my need to fight for the underdog, my father raising me that I could do anything anyone else could do, my darling hubby who always has my back and a few good men that stood out from the crowd and fought for me and with me, I never let those remarks define me. Oh they stung and pissed me off to no end. I refused to let them define me. Then and now.

It’s 2018 and the fact that girls and women still hear these phrases (and worse) disgust me. Plain and Simple. Here’s the deal. In my book, you are either a good person or an ass. You either use your words to lift others up or to push them down. You are either kind, or you’re not. I don’t care if you are a man or a woman. I don’t care the color of your skin or if you believe in Christ, Buddha or the smurfs. Treat others as you want to be treated. Plain and simple.